Lawsuit filed against Gov. Bevin and AG Beshear over medical marijuana

06/14/2017 12:42 PM

Three Kentuckians are suing Governor Matt Bevin’s administration and Attorney General Andy Beshear over Kentucky’s law banning medical marijuana.

The suit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court on Wednesday, argues that forbidding the possession and use of marijuana for medical purposes violates provisions of the Kentucky Constitution that protect individual privacy and prohibit arbitrary conduct by the government.

The suit says thousands of people “are often given no choice but to use prescription opioids – the same opioids which have killed tens of thousands of people already- or face serious criminal consequences.”

The plaintiffs assert that they have brought this issue to the attention of the Kentucky General Assembly several times, and Kentucky lawmakers have failed to act.

The plaintiffs include Danny Belcher, a Vietnam War veteran with PTSD who says that pharmaceutical drugs were ruining his quality of life. Belcher testified before the interim joint Veteran Affairs Committee back in 2014. That testimony was featured on the HBO show Last Week Tonight this April.

The second plaintiff is Dan Seum, Jr., son of Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale. The suit says that Seum was addicted to narcotics after taking OxyContin to manage chronic back pain.

The last plaintiff is Amy Stalker who uses cannabis to help manage her bipolar disorder and irritable bowel syndrome. The suit states that cannabis helps her without the side effects and expenses of pharmaceutical treatment.

The suit is seeking a jury trial as well as an injunction to allow the plaintiffs to use medical marijuana.

Madeline Janicki

Madeline is a producer for Spectrum News. You can watch her work on Pure Politics, the only statewide nightly show dedicated solely to Kentucky Politics. Madeline is an Indiana native and received her degree in Communications from Indiana University. Her background is as a news producer but her passion for civic engagement and drive to bring voters information on issues that impact their lives brought her to Pure Politics. Here she gets to work on projects like her multi-part digital series on how the national group Teach For America is working in Eastern Kentucky Schools. If you have a story idea, email her at Madeline.Janicki@charter.com.

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